The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Evaluation of respiratory parameters at presentation as clinical indicators of the respiratory localization in dogs and cats with respiratory distress
Article first published online: 22 OCT 2010
© Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society 2010
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 13–23, February 2011
How to Cite
Sigrist, N. E., Adamik, K. N., Doherr, M. G. and Spreng, D. E. (2011), Evaluation of respiratory parameters at presentation as clinical indicators of the respiratory localization in dogs and cats with respiratory distress. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, 21: 13–23. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2010.00589.x
- Issue published online: 2 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 22 OCT 2010
- asynchronous breathing;
- inverse breathing;
- pleural space;
- respiratory distress
Objective − To describe clinical respiratory parameters in cats and dogs with respiratory distress and identify associations between respiratory signs at presentation and localization of the disease with particular evaluation between the synchrony of abdominal and chest wall movements as a clinical indicators for pleural space disease.
Design − Prospective observational clinical study.
Setting − Emergency service in a university veterinary teaching hospital.
Animals − Cats and dogs with respiratory distress presented to the emergency service between April 2008 and July 2009.
Interventions − None.
Measurements and Main Results − The following parameters were systematically determined at time of admission: respiratory rate, heart rate, temperature, type of breathing, movement of the thoracic and abdominal wall during inspiration, presence of stridor, presence and type of dyspnea, and results of thoracic auscultation. Abdominal and chest wall movement was categorized as synchronous, asynchronous, or inverse. Diagnostic test results, diagnosis, and outcome were subsequently recorded. Based on the final diagnoses, animals were assigned to 1 or more of the following groups regarding the anatomical localization of the respiratory distress: upper airways, lower airways, lung parenchyma, pleural space, thoracic wall, nonrespiratory causes, and normal animals. One hundred and seventy-six animals (103 cats and 73 dogs) were evaluated. Inspiratory dyspnea was associated with upper airway disease in dogs and expiratory dyspnea with lower airway disease in cats. Respiratory noises were significantly associated and highly sensitive and specific for upper airway disease. An asynchronous or inverse breathing pattern and decreased lung auscultation results were significantly associated with pleural space disease in both dogs and cats (P<0.001). The combination is highly sensitive (99%) but not very specific (45%). Fast and shallow breathing was not associated with pleural space disease. Increased or moist pulmonary auscultation findings were associated with parenchymal lung disease.
Conclusions − Cats and dogs with pleural space disease can be identified by an asynchronous or inverse breathing pattern in combination with decreased lung sounds on auscultation.